Those Places Thursday: More Devon Ancestors

Hibbitt Family Tree section - Surnames: Ball, Dearing, Edwards, Riccard, Bowden, Wilkins, Sanders

I've been investigating the ancestors of Israel Edward Ball and Ann Dearing, in addition to adding further details for this couple.

Israel and Ann were due to be married in 1838 when Ann was pregnant with daughter, Maria. Banns were read in February but, for some reason, the wedding didn't happen at this time. Perhaps the baby was early - Maria was baptized on 22nd April - but we can never be certain of the reason for the delayed nuptials.

When Ann was pregnant with their daughter, Mary, banns of marriage were once again called and Israel and Ann married in Okehampton on 2nd August 1840. Mary was baptized three months later. Sadly, Mary died in 1842 and a son, William, arrived in about 1845.

Tragedy struck again in 1847 when Ann died in February and then Israel in August. Two weeks later, little William was buried. A note in the burial register mentions that Israel was buried by order of the Coroner. I haven't yet established the cause of death but there doesn't seem to be anything in the newspapers so I imagine the coroner may have become involved if he died alone.
The parish register showing the burials of Israel and William Ball
The parish register showing the burials of Israel and William Ball
(Click the image above to see a larger version.)

The only member of the family to survive was nine-year-old Maria, my great-great-grandmother. In 1851, a pauper by the name of Maria Daring (probably a mis-spelling of Dearing - Maria was sometimes known by her mother's maiden name due to her illegitimacy) was resident in the Okehampton Union Workhouse. A Maria Ball was a farm servant at Whitestone Farm in Mary Tavy in 1861. She later married George Geake, had six children and eventually died in 1901.

Ann Dearing's father was John Dearing and her mother was Mary. John was a cordwainer, a profession I've encountered before as my Weaver family from Curry Rivel were also cordwainers and boot and shoemakers.

Israel Ball's parents were William Ball and Maria Edwards. They had four children, Israel, Samuel, Sally (or Sarah) and Mary. William died in 1845 but Maria lived until 1849. We can speculate that Maria Ball (nee Edwards) might have taken in her grand-daughter, poor Maria Dearing, after the death of the latter's parents but, at present, I have no information between 1847 and the census of 1851 so I cannot know for sure.

William Ball's parents were Thomas Ball and Mary. There were two marriages in Okehampton involving a Thomas Ball in the right time frame. Unfortunately, they were both married to Marys so I'm currently unable to tell whether my 5 x great-grandmother was Mary Seldon or Mary Brooke. By a small coincidence, I already have ancestors called Seldon attached to a different branch of my tree, located further north in Merton.

Back to Maria Edwards, her parents were Nathaniel Edwards and Grace Riccard. Nathaniel was a blacksmith and the couple had five children, some with rather unusual names - there was a daughter called Beaten (yes, that's right), then Maria, a son called Angel (reminds me of Tess of the D'Urbevilles) and two more sons called Elias and Israel. The last two were baptized on the same day and might have been twins but not necessarily. It's obvious that Israel Ball was named after his uncle, Israel Edwards.

Angel enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1803, during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, but I lose all trace of him after this.

Beaten married Edward Bowden in 1811. He was about 60 and she 35. They had a daughter called Grace, presumably named after her grandmother. Edward died a couple of years after the marriage and was buried on the same day that baby Grace was baptized.

Elias married Elizabeth Wilkins in 1822 and Israel married Susanna Sanders in 1818.

Place names: Okehampton, Mary Tavy, Hatherleigh, Inwardleigh, North Tawton and Crediton, all in Devon.

[Why Those Places Thursday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

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